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Air Quality

Environmental Protection Fees

DHEC does not assess fees for air permit applications, renewals, or revisions. Instead, the agency calculates air quality fees based on the tons of air emissions generated by a facility. All regulated pollutants, except carbon monoxide, are included in this calculation. To determine a facility's annual fee, DHEC multiplies a standard fee rate by the number of tons of billable pollutants created by a facility. Pollutants that are Federal Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) or State Toxic Air Pollutants (TAPs) and also VOCs or particulate matter are only billed once, even though these pollutants may be tracked separately. Each year, DHEC adjusts the fee rate based on the Consumer Price Index.

Any facility that maintains an air permit must pay these annual air quality fees. This includes facilities that generate less than 1 ton of calculated emissions. (Note: These facilities are assessed fees based on 1 ton of emissions.) If a facility is permanently closed and no longer requires an air permit, the facility must inform DHEC of the closure prior to July 1. Otherwise, the facility will be assessed air quality fees for the entire fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). A facility that has closed but has asked to maintain its permit is still subject to fees.

Air Fee Schedule - Fiscal Year

Fiscal Year (July 1 - June 30) Fee Rate/Ton of Billable Emissions
1993 $11.00
1994 $18.00
1995 $29.26
1996 $30.07
1997 $30.93
1998 $31.78
1999 $32.65
2000 $33.21
2001 $33.82
2002 $34.87
2003 $36.03
2004 $36.60
2005 $37.43
2006 $38.29
2007 $39.48
2008 $41.02
2009 $41.96
2010 $43.75
2011 $43.83
2012 $44.48
2013 $45.55

Existing Sources

DHEC bases fees on actual emissions from the previous calendar year or from a period determined by DHEC to be representative of normal source operation.

For Title V facilities, DHEC has determined that billable emissions calculated from the most recent emission inventory data reviewed by DHEC air quality staff are representative of normal source operation. The emission inventory accounts for all emmisions from a facility by using stack test data, approved emission factors, equipment manufacturers’ data, production rates, etc. DHEC's Emissions Inventory Section reviews the information submitted by a facility to ensure that the facility has included all sources and used appropriate calculation methods. Related emissions inventory information can be found here.

Conditional Major and General Conditional Major sources are not required to provide DHEC with emissions inventory data. DHEC staff members determine average emissions for these sources based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories. DHEC assigns the appropriate SIC average emission rate to each facility.

Minor and State Major sources are not required to provide emission inventory data, either. Emissions from these sources are based on industry averages. DHEC reviews all Minor and State Major source permits and identifies the most appropriate industry average emission rate for each facility.

New Sources

New sources lack the past emissions data needed to calculate fees. For these facilities, DHEC uses operating time and limits established in the facility's permit for each billable pollutant to determine the total tonnage that will be used for billing. For sources other than Title V sources, DHEC will use the industry average instead of permitted limits if the industry average is lower.


For more information please contact the Bureau of Air Quality at (803) 898-4123 or by email.